• Tom Fowler

How Much Does Car Insurance Pay for Pain and Suffering?

Updated: Jan 11

Payment for pain and suffering is a non-economic compensation, and it depends on many factors. For this reason, there's no one standard method of calculating the amount of money a car insurance company will pay for it. Many insurers use a computer program to compute such payments. So, the amount will vary depending on the insurance company and each case.

But let's take a closer look to see how much payment someone could get for pain and suffering.

What Is Pain, Suffering, and Inconvenience Damage?

What Is Pain, Suffering, and Inconvenience Damage?

Pain, suffering, and inconvenience include physical and emotional distress that a person goes through in a car accident. Moreover, such damages include medical treatments and a recovery period.

The term pain relates to any physical pain from injuries. Suffering refers to the mental stress of being in an accident. But it also covers worrying about the injuries and how they will affect the victim's future and other sorts of emotional discomfort.

On the other hand, inconvenience is the disruption in the victim's life. So, it's about how many days it took to stay in a hospital and recover and how all that affected the person's plans, activities, and work.

How Much Is Pain and Suffering Worth?

Insurance companies usually use one of two methods to calculate pain and suffering damage. Those methods are called the per diem or the multiplier method.

The Per Diem Method


In Latin, Per Diem stands for per day. A car insurance company will use this method to calculate the victim's total economic damages' daily value. That will include lost salaries, medical bills, etc. In the end, the insurers will use this amount to come up with pain and suffering payments.

The Multiplier Method


The second method is called the multiplier method. The insurers that use it will assess the severity of the victim's injuries and assign them a number from one to five. The more serious the injuries, the higher this figure will be. Finally, the insurers will take this number and multiply it with the victim's economic damages.

So, How Much Can a Person Get For Pain and Suffering?


Since there's no "average," the exact amount will depend on each person's case. For instance, there is an amount for a broken neck caused by a car accident and there’s another for head injuries. So, it would be best to consult with a personal injury lawyer who can estimate.

Does Pain and Suffering Damage Include Medical Bills?

In short, no. The pain and suffering category is separate from medical bills. But as mentioned above, it will be based in part on the amount of the medical bills.

Why Seek Payment for Pain and Suffering?


How does a car accident settlement work?


An injured person often has a lot of expenses following a car accident. For instance, medical and hospital bills can be high, property damage grave, and they might have missed their work, affecting their wages. So, a car accident victim should see how insurers pay for pain and suffering damages. That way, they might help cover all those costs.


Insurers usually compensate for pain, suffering, and inconvenience. But the first offer is not that good, and it's also not final. So, a victim should hire an injury lawyer who will negotiate with the insurers for a fair amount. In most cases, attorneys can get a better offer.

In fact, negotiations are the only way to increase the payout. The insurers usually offer the settlement as a single payout and list how much each category is worth. So, a victim can choose to renegotiate the whole deal or just a few categories.


All in all, to support the case, a car accident victim should start piling evidence as soon as possible. That way, they will improve their position in negotiations with an insurance company. If the leverage is strong enough, the insurers will agree to a better offer because they will want to avoid going to a trial.

Final Thoughts

Being in a car accident is very stressful. But if a person ends up with severe injuries and a long recovery, it becomes even worse. Of course, no amount of money can equal the emotional trauma and life-long effects of injuries. However, there's no reason why a victim shouldn't try to get the pain and suffering damages that will cover all the costs. So, it would be best to gather all the evidence and contact a personal injury attorney from a top-rated accident law firm to get the best offer possible.

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